Films: Best of 2016


Films: Best of 2016

There's enough lists out there - but let me go ahead and add another! Was a great year and I could be easily convinced of a movie moving +/- 10 spots. So this is more of a list of everything I liked and less of a definitive ranking. Looking forward to catching up on stuff I haven't seen, too. (listed below). See ya at the theater, nerds.

  1. Moonlight

  2. Manchester by the Sea

  3. The Witch

  4. Hell or High Water

  5. The Lobster

  6. The Handmaiden

  7. The Fits

  8. Loving

  9. American Honey

  10. La La Land

  11. Everybody Wants Some

  12. Kubo and the Two strings

  13. OJ: Made in America

  14. Krisha

  15. Lemonade

  16. Weiner

  17. Don't Think Twice

  18. Midnight Special

  19. Blue Jay

  20. The Invitation

  21. Arrival

  22. Maggie’s Plan

  23. Swiss Army Man

  24. Green Room

  25. Jungle book

  26. Nocturnal Animals

  27. Hunt for the Wilderpeople

  28. Zootopia

  29. My Golden Days

  30. Hail Caesar

  31. Jackie

  32. Amanda Knox

  33. Little Sister

  34. Certain Women

  35. Sing Street

  36. Rogue One

  37. Born to be Blue

  38. Moana

  39. Elle

  40. The Witness

  41. Neon Demon

  42. Captain fantastic

  43. Lion

  44. Dr. Strange

  45. Finding Dory

  46. Wiener Dog

  47. Fantastic Beasts

  48. The Nice Guys

  49. Knight of Cups

  50. Captain America: Civil War

Need to See: Sully, Don’t Breathe, Certain women, 20th Century Women, Cameraperson, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Kate Plays Christine, The Love Witch, Paterson, Toni Erdmann, A Bigger Splash, Sunset Song, I Daniel Blake, Silence, Moana, Edge of 17, Cemetery of Splendor, Always shine, Microbes and Gasoline, Tower, In a Valley of Violence, The BFG, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Hacksaw ridge, Aquarius



2015 Top Films Grouped in NBA-Style Teams


2015 Top Films Grouped in NBA-Style Teams

Not going to numerically rank again this year so here's a pool of my favorite movies sorted into groups a la NBA end-of-season teams. You could rank these titles in any order and I'd agree with you.

*Recently watched movie that was added after initial writing of this post

All-Movie First Team
It Follows
Mad Max
Diary of A Teenage Girl

All-Movie Second Team
What We Do In The Shadows
Inside Out
Mistress America
Queen of Earth

All-Movie Third Team
World of Tomorrow
The Assassin

All-"Deserves More Attention" Team
Kumiko the Treasure Hunter
World of Tomorrow
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Mississippi Grind

All-Doc Team (Didn't watch enough)
Montage of Heck
Going Clear

All-"Not Only Did We Not Fuck Up The Franchise But It's Great" Team
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Furious 7
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Magic Mike XXL

All-"Honorable Mentions That I'm Not Clever Enough to Fit Anywhere" Roster
While We're Young
The Hateful Eight
*Clouds of Sils Maria
*Bridge of Spies
*The Revenant
The End of the Tour
Love & Mercy
The Big Short
Straight Outta Compton
6 Years

Movies I need to watch: Steve Jobs, Phoenix, Son of Saul, 45 Years, The Look of Silence, The Lobster, Taxi, James White, Heaven Knows What, Mustang, White God, Look of Silence, Seymour: An Introduction


Favorite Films from 2014


Favorite Films from 2014

A bit late but here are my favorite films of 2014, in no particular order. However, those marked with an asterisk will likely stay with me beyond the year.





The Grand Budapest Hotel*

Gone Girl


Nymphomaniac Part 1

Guardians of the Galaxy

Top Five

Under the Skin

Inherent Vice*


Only Lovers Left Alive


True Detective* (It's really an 8-hour film)

The Homesman


Force Majeure


Goodbye to Language 3D


A list of movies I plan to watch or catch up on:

A Most Violent Year

Two Days, One Night



A Girl Walks Home Alone

Listen Up, Phillip




"Spit Gold Under an Empire" from Dir. Emily Kai Bock

Really love the 35mm look, steadicam shots, and sound design in this short doc from Emily Kai Bock. You've likely seen her music video work for Grimes, Grizzly Bear, Lorde and more. Check out the underground rap doc below followed by a little VICE-made feature about her. Or her work here.



Inspiration: "Keep Exploring" short film

Found this through my usual Vimeo browsing and it's an amazingly shot video portrait video of French photographer Brice Portolano. Climbing up mountains and seeking out gorgeous angles, this is a nice feat from director Mathieu Le Lay. Major props.


Austin Film Festival Recap


Austin Film Festival Recap

I was recently able to attend Austin Film Festival and caught some screenings & panels. Here are some highlights.

Wild, by Jean-Marc Vallée and starring Reese Witherspoon, surprised me the most out of the group. I just hadn't heard enough about to it to draw an expectation. It's right on par with Fox Searchlight efforts, a movie with indie feel and a star actor attached. You can expect to think about your relationships, the experiences that shape you, and how you carry them.

The Homesman is Tommy Lee Jones at his finest - co-writing, directing, and starring. Seemingly set as a Western, it's everything but. There's no folk hero or lore here. Instead, it's a display of characters at their most desperate and how they come together to be an unlikely family. You'll think about what motherhood, feminism, and romance means. Along with Tommy Lee Jones's beautiful dialogue.

The Imitation Game is as precise and well thought out as any invention from Alan Turing's mind. This biopic is not about a life, but about a romance, and how a man attempts to reach it. Things to look out for: what it means to be misunderstood, the cryptography of love, and the battle between humanity and intellect.

Other screenings worth noting are Rosewater and One Eyed Girl. I may post a thing or two about the panels, one of which was a live Scriptnotes podcast, which you can listen to here.


acl fest 2014 - stills, part 3


acl fest 2014 - stills, part 3

More on the photos page.